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Sportswriters don’t generally win a James Beard culinary award. It’s like Lionel Messi winning an Oscar.
But that’s exactly what my next guest, Baxter Holmes, has done. In fact, he’s the only sportswriter, thus far, to have achieved this singular honour, for his article about the humble peanut butter & jelly sandwich and its unlikely rise to pre-match secret weapon for the NBA.
Baxter is the senior national NBA writer for ESPN, focusing on features, projects and anything else of interest in the world of basketball.
Recently, he has found himself becoming increasingly fascinated with what the players do away from the court.
In the process, he unearthed a fantastic story about the NBA’s growing obsession with wine.
Players, it seems, have moved beyond the usual trappings of wealth – houses, cars, bling etcetera – and are instead turning their attention (and sizeable incomes) to a more unusual pursuit. Wine.
Surprisingly, this is not merely a story of bragging rights over who can buy the most expensive bottle.
These NBA stars, including LeBron James, have developed a genuine interest in wine. They want to know about it intimately, develop their palates and be able to speak knowledgeably about wine. Some have even taken a giant leap and purchased their own vineyards.
So, stay with me on Drinks Adventures as Baxter reveals how he embarked on his investigation into the NBA’s burgeoning wine obsession.